4 things Pacers fans should be thankful for this Thanksgiving

Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte - Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports
Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte - Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Indiana Pacers have yet to flirt with a breakthrough this season, sitting at 13th in a jampacked Eastern Conference with a 8-12 win-loss card at the quarter point of the campaign. Given how the team has essentially trekked in a rollercoaster ride, it’s hard to predict how the rest of the season will pan out for the Blue and Gold.

Still, with Thanksgiving just a blink past its end, Pacers fans have some things to be thankful for in this season. Indy is still on the losing column for the most part, but the team has seen no shortage of silver linings for the past month or so.

True to the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are four things that Pacers fans should be thankful for despite their middling start to the season.

The perfect holiday gifts for Indiana Pacers fans. light. Related Story

Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte
Indiana Pacers, Chris Duarte – Credit: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports /

What Pacers fans should be thankful for: Super Rookie Chris Duarte

I was one of the many (foolish) people who clamored that the Indiana Pacers should’ve gunned for a higher upside prospect than the 24-year-old Chris Duarte. More than a month in, I couldn’t be any more wrong, and I’m loving every bit of my miscalculation.

Duarte has been one of the brightest spots for the Pacers in their rather stale start to the season. Already one of the best pure scorers in his draft class, he easily ranks as Indiana’s best rookie since Myles Turner, snapping a relatively long streak of unimpressive drafting years for the Blue and Gold.

As a perimeter creator, his sheer skill with the ball is uncanny. Inarguably the best three-point shooter of his draft class, his scoring profile is predicated on finesse and marksmanship, and doesn’t rely on his sneaky athleticism to score. He has hit a rough patch recently after stellar early showings, but he’s been an above-average producer considering that he’s far from the Pacers’ primary or even secondary option offensively.

In time, Duarte could be among the best scorers in the league overall, a sentiment shared by some of the league’s superstars like Kevin Durant, and recently, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook. Without heed to iffy age-related ceiling caps, one thing’s for sure: the Pacers got a stud in Duarte.